Jay Quaintance appointed President of SUNY Sullivan

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The SUNY Board of Trustees today appointed Jay Quaintance as President of Sullivan County Community College (SUNY Sullivan). Quaintance most recently has been serving as Acting President, having joined the college last July as Officer in Charge.

“We have come to know Jay as a strong advocate for higher education, and he has proven to be a great fit for Sullivan County Community College in understanding the needs of the college, as well as its students and surrounding community,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “I am proud to extend my congratulations to Jay and to Sullivan County Community College.”

“SUNY Sullivan has been searching for someone who was much more than an academic; we needed a President who was intellectually and politically nimble given the current state of our nation, our state, and our county,” said SUNY Sullivan Board Chairperson Dr. Terry Hamlin. “Our college and our county are in an unprecedented time of growth and opportunity, and we are not going to let it pass us by. We wanted a president who could immediately engage in partnerships, both public and private; a president who could effectively, and with remarkable energy and enthusiasm, represent us at any table he or she found themselves sitting at. Jay met every aspect our criteria, from being fiscally astute and politically savvy, to being intelligent, caring, and likeable,” she added.

Prior to joining SUNY Sullivan, Quaintance served as Assistant Secretary for Education in the Office of New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, where his work included Statewide P-12 and Higher Education budget, policy development, and implementation. He also served as Assistant Vice Chancellor and Assistant Provost for Community College Policy and Planning at the State University of New York.  

Quaintance has a long history of working with community colleges, beginning with his assignments in the field of student services, where he served as an instructor in Upward Bound and then as the director of TRIO Student Support Services. In addition, Quaintance has worked as an instructor, department chair, and assistant dean of academic affairs at the community college level.

“I would like to thank the SUNY Sullivan Board of Trustees as well as the SUNY Board of Trustees for their support throughout this past year, as well as for their confidence in me to continue to lead the college,” said Quaintance. “I have truly enjoyed working closely with SUNY Sullivan’s faculty and staff and with the development and expansion of partnerships with the community and the workforce.”

Since joining SUNY Sullivan, Quaintance has overseen growing student enrollment, the hiring of a shared Chief Diversity Officer with other area community colleges, and the selection by Governor Cuomo as only one of four colleges for an Industrial Hemp Agriculture Pilot Program, which will provide students with an unprecedented opportunity to engage in cutting-edge agricultural and medical research.

Quaintance’s appointment, which is effective immediately, concludes a search launched earlier this year and overseen by a 24-member search committee that included Board of Trustees members, administrative, faculty, staff, student, and community representatives, and chaired by Board of Trustees member Dr. Nancy Hackett. The position attracted more than 40 highly qualified, highly motivated applicants. The impressive field then narrowed to five candidates invited to interview via video conference, leading to a set of three final candidates who each visited the campus in May for meetings with college and community constituencies. The SUNY Sullivan Board of Trustees then forwarded its final selection to SUNY.

Quaintance received both his Bachelor of Arts in English and his Master of Arts in rhetoric and the teaching of writing from New Mexico State University.